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HBT
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HBT
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎10-26-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

I do not know the answer for these questions but I think it would be considered YA because the main characters are teens facing the dilemmas in the book everyday. I am only on Ch 2 as I had a late start reading the book, but I find myself thinking how when I was younger I could relate more to the characters and the situations they are in. However now that I am an adult I think back and say, man how stupid my friends and I were when we did the same things and how stupid the choices were. I know it is a part of growing up, having fun and making choices that are not always the right ones. However, this book has reminded me of all the things I need to watch for as my kids are growing up!

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

 Okay, I may ask this question again, when the author comes on, but until then, I was wondering, does anyone know how a book is designated for young adults? I realize the book is about teenagers and the problems they face, but it seems appropriate for a wider range of readers.

I have read several YA books and they all engaged me and did not seem to be written for a single audience...i.e, The Hunger Games, Chasing Fire, The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas...and now this, Before I Fall. All of these covered themes that could easily be enjoyed by older readers as well.
Is it because the main characters are young?
Is it simply easier to get published in this genre?
Is it about shelf space?
Does anyone know?

 


 

 

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

I think that is what makes this book so relevant; it transcends age groups.

HBT wrote:

...edited by twj....However, this book has reminded me of all the things I need to watch for as my kids are growing up!

 

Frequent Contributor
RS18
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎08-14-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress? Sam is a popular girl at her high school, who is very superficial and shallow. Being popular is very important to her and everything she does is to maintain her status at her high school. She won't speak to anyone who is not popular and has even left old friends behind so that she can run with the popular circle.

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd? It's apparent that Sam wasn't always popular. But now that she is, she really lets it rule her life and make all her decisions. She will only do/say what is okay for her to do/say as a popular girl in school.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect? They each have their own issues behind the superficial popular girl label that they have at school, which is how their schoolmates view them.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? Sam & Kent were really good friends in the past, but now Sam is popular so she has left Kent behind. I have a feeling that she's going to end up with Kent by the end of the book. Maybe all these re-do's of her last day will lead to that. Because he's her true friend. He was friends with her before she was popular.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again? If I was her, I don't know how I could go through the repeated days without telling anyone. I guess I would try to tell Lindsay because Sam seems closest to her but there's no way Lindsay would believe it.

 


 

 

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BoilerWriter
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2


BoilerWriter wrote:

 


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

Huh, I guess I'm the bad person for not feeling sorry for Sam and her clique and saying that they do not have any redeemable qualities. I guess I'll be the Devil's Advocate for BIF.

I find it fascinating that so many are determined to not condone the actions of Sam and her friends and I wonder if that tune will change as we get deeper into the novel (I'm only in chapter 4 so I haven't gone that far ahead). I do believe that people can change but I also know that a lot of times it doesn't happen.

Do "mean girls" mature and grow up into good people who are an asset to society? It can happen, but it seems like "mean girls" who are actually mean (like Lindsey), not just going along with it to be popular (like Sam), don't change. They become the mean sorority girl in college, and then the person in the office whom everyone hates because they are so evil and nasty to everyone.

So here's a question - which is worse, the inherent mean girl (aka Lindsey), or the person who goes along with all of it knowing it's bad behavior, just to be popular (aka Sam)?



The Lindseys in life do sometimes go on to be the mean girls of the sorority and later on the work place, but even if those Lindseys don't change, the rest of us evolve into older and wiser people over the years. When you're a teen, say 18 like Sam and Lindsey, you tend to fall prey to the shallowness of a Lindsey due to the appeal of her outer beauty and popularity. That may trickle over into college sorority life, but once the school peer community is no longer our greatest influence in life, I think the magnetism of the Lindseys deteriorates. Beauty fades and unless you're the trophy wife of the company CEO, popularity issues don't run as rampent in the general society. The Lindseys may still exist in the work place dressed to the nines with their cosmetic surgeries and looking down their noses at the 'less appealing' in their eyes, but at age 48 if someone is allowing them to still have the power to control their actions, then there are bigger issues at hand. The Lindseys are the only people who deem themselves worthy to be the decision maker of the universe and only draw the attention of their like kind. The Sams and the Juliets have moved on to bigger and better things in the world by then.

Okay, I really messed this response up. Didn't leave a space between my comment and the person who posed the question, so it looks like it's all my stuff. Tried to fix it, but think I just made it worse. 

Also, my apologses, I have a mental block for Lindsay's name and have repeatedly posted it as Lindsey. I promise to correct that error in future posts.

 


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kels10
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

Sam is the type of person who is out to have fun, but she isn't all that snooty. So far all I know about her family is that she has a mom and a younger sister. Something suprising learned is that she wasn't always popular; she used to be a nobody who got made fun of by the friend she has now.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

Sam fits in with this crowd because she acts like them, and they're all very popular. Also she fits in with them because she has a pretty popular boyfriend.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

Yes, they are all individuals. Lindsay was the one who made fun of Sam, and she also had an affair with this guy she barely knew. Ally never eats more than a quarter of what's on her plate, but she loves cooking. Finally Elody can't have her friends over at her house after 5 because her mom will be home and drunk.

 

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her?

Um, I don't really know that song, so I can't really judge. However by the title, I would say it doesn't fit her because her being popular; well she has to deal with a lot of drama.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

Sam's friendship with Kent tells you that she isn't like the other popular girls. For instance, she has a heart and actually cares about others feelings. Also it tells you that she once was not popular.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?

If I was Sam I wouldn't be able to keep it a secret that long. Right away I think I would tell my closest friend because we've known eachother since we were little kids, and I know she would be there for me.

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Stewies_Mom
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I keep trying to read this book, but I'm struggling to get past the first two chapters.  The characters are so obnoxious that I can't find myself wanting to continue reading about them.  I find that I don't care what happens to them and that makes it really difficult to keep reading.  I've thought about skipping past this part, but then I wouldn't understand some of what was going on in the story.  My apologies to the author, but all I keep thinking about Sam and her friends is - yuck!

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meme1
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Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2


Rachel-K wrote:

 

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress? I don't know if it's surprising, but she was not with the "in-crowd" as a younger person.  Now, she is willing to do as the in-crowd expects so that she does not become an outsider again.  By the end of the second chapter I see glimpses of her questioning their "rules of acceptance".


She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd? I think she only superficially fits with them.  She calculates her moves to mimic what they find acceptable.  If she were more self-confident, she would stand back and do as she truly knew was right.


What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? This is the real Sam, but she is willing to submerge herself to be with the popular group.  At this point in her life, loyalty to someone "different" is not in her.


If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?  I've debated this in my thoughts and I can't decide between Kent and Juliet.  Though she is not kind to either, they will also understand the conflict that Sam is feeling.


meme

~~ Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

~~ Be careful reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain
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Grace2133
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

[ Edited ]

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress? Sam is the epitome of the nice girl turned popular girl. She is elitist, rude and self-absorbed. Even worse, she is a follower and a lemming.  She has the potential to be a nice person and seems to recognize that her behavior with people less popular and affluent than her is cruel but is afraid, or unwilling, to separate herself from the source. She is unwilling to become less popular to be more kind and I think that is why I dislike her so much especially in the first chapters. Even when she realizes she will live February 13th over and over again, she doesn’t change her behavior much.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd? I think we see these type of girls in every high school. They are the ones who walk down the halls like they own the school, who treat everyone else like they are mere peons, and who really have the lowest estimations of their own worth but use their popularity as a mask. Needless to say, I really cannot stand any of them.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect? I think we saw glimpses of the reality of Lindsay, Ally and Elody that takes away from their cookie-cutter perfection. Lindsay’s was the most clear to me. She attacks people she sees as weak to make herself strong. She attacks those she knows won’t or can’t fight back and once she sees that Juliet is willing to fight back, or at least play her game, she brutally attacks.

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her? Umm no. She is the source of drama and thrives by creating it. She would not be “popular Lindsay” if she did not create and inspire drama.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? It tells me that she was at one time “normal” and “individual” but lost that by her friendship with the lemmings. It kind of upsets me because Kent could have been such a good influence on her.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again? I know that it sounds girly, but I would have gone to Kent. He cares about Sam, as much as I think he probably can’t stand her. He may think she was crazy but he would comfort her.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

Stewies_Mom,
This post was on the Questions for Lauren board.  I thought it might help you decide whether to give up reading or continue.  You shouldn't feel badly if you decide to give up the book.  Not every book is for every person.  That's one more thing that makes everyone unique and the discussions meaningful.

 

 


KateBrianIsAwesome wrote:

Hi Lauren,

   I was wondering if there were any parts in the book that you were nervous about putting it into your novel.

   I'm also on chapter 5 and the story is getting better. Today while reading at school I got a little teary eyed. I have a really good feeling about the ending. Usually if a book starts off with bad characters or bad things (sex, drugs, drinking, parties) I quit reading the book. I'm totally against drinking and drugs. But your characters had this quality about them that made me feel like they were going to change and that you were not just writing about a teen party randomly. That you had an important message to tell us readers. So I couldn't stop reading Before i Fall.


 

Well, I was certainly nervous about having Sam start off so unlikeable. I was really worried that people might, as you say you sometimes do, get so turned off by her behavior at the beginning of the book that they put the book down--when the whole point is that she has to evolve and change and come to a different understanding of herself and others by the end of the novel! So yes, I was nervous about that. And Day Four was hard to write--she is going totally wild, and she is truly and deeply unhappy by that point, and at a low; it was hard to abuse my character so much, and just try and pray that readers would stay with me, and with her, and see her through onto the other side of that.

 



Stewies_Mom wrote:

I keep trying to read this book, but I'm struggling to get past the first two chapters.  The characters are so obnoxious that I can't find myself wanting to continue reading about them.  I find that I don't care what happens to them and that makes it really difficult to keep reading.  I've thought about skipping past this part, but then I wouldn't understand some of what was going on in the story.  My apologies to the author, but all I keep thinking about Sam and her friends is - yuck!


 

 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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MKDeanna
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Registered: ‎12-02-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam?

 

Sam is a semi-typical teenage girl (unfortunately) that is willing to do anything to remain popular, even at the cost of those around her. 

 

What do we know about her family?

 

 Her parents appear to be fairly uninvolved in her life.  She has a younger sister with an apparent speech problem.

 

Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

 

I found it surprising that she made very few changes to her day the second time.  I also thought it was interesting that she appeared to make very few decisions on her own.  It seemed that most of her actions were driven by her friends/boyfriend.

 

 She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

 

I think deep down, if Sam was honest with herself, she does not fit in.  However, she is so interested in being popular (and not having people look down on her) that she is willing to do whatever it takes.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

 

They each seem to have a different opinion of relationships and sex, that's about the only difference revealed in the first two chapters.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

 

I'm hoping that this friendship reveals more in the later chapters.  I think that this will show that Sam takes relationships very seriously and that she builds strong bonds with others.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?

 

Kent

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CharlieG31
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

"What do we know about her family?

 

 Her parents appear to be fairly uninvolved in her life.  She has a younger sister with an apparent speech problem."

 

 

From my point of view I don't think her family is uninvolved because they want to but because Sam has pushed them to the point where they no longer want to be in her life because her parents are afraid of the way she will react so now they just are there to support her but no longer show care because Sam has made the situation that way .

 

 

 

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

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JohnSherian4
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-10-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I have decided to drop out of the book club. When I got the book and started reading it, it just wasn't me style. So I have given my book to a fellow class mate who is now participating in the book club. I hope that I can participate in a different book club soon.

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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I'm sorry you didn't try to stick with the book, but it was a great idea to pass the book along to someone else so they could have the experience!  Thanks for thinking of that!

 

 


JohnSherian4 wrote:

I have decided to drop out of the book club. When I got the book and started reading it, it just wasn't me style. So I have given my book to a fellow class mate who is now participating in the book club. I hope that I can participate in a different book club soon.


 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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ashley558
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Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

To me she pretty much followed her friends, she really did not think for herself.

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ashley558
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

We do learn but I think in the book they focus on the drama. Like the writing on the bathroom stalls that happens in schools and making fun of people for no good reason.

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ashley558
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

They are supposed to repeat and the author was not lazy. Its supposed to show that there will be little parts  changed as she goes through this over and over again.

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2britt13
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

In the first chapter I thought Sam was just like the teens on TV self centered.  As I kept reading I started to realize that she wasn't as self centered as I thought.  Lindsey well she could learn to be a little nicer.  She shouldn't just be mean to people for dumb selfless reasons.

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Wrighty
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

Hi Stewies_Mom,
I'm only on chapter 5 but I did want to let you know that there are changes coming. After chapter 2 we start to get glimpses into why the characters are the way they are. I don't know if that will make it better for you or not but I didn't want you to give up too soon. I think it would be hard if you skipped over parts because each chapter builds on the last. This may not be the book for you and there are plenty of books that i have stopped reading before the end. I just wanted to let you know that things don't stay the same. Good luck!

Stewies_Mom wrote:

I keep trying to read this book, but I'm struggling to get past the first two chapters.  The characters are so obnoxious that I can't find myself wanting to continue reading about them.  I find that I don't care what happens to them and that makes it really difficult to keep reading.  I've thought about skipping past this part, but then I wouldn't understand some of what was going on in the story.  My apologies to the author, but all I keep thinking about Sam and her friends is - yuck!


 

 

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Wendy33
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Registered: ‎10-01-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

 

I think that she's a follower. I also think that she copies the ones around her and she doesn't really talk to her family. 

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

 

She tries to fit in but I think no matter how much she tries to be the popular, mean girl but I don't think it's really in her. 

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

 

Lindsay's the drama queen, Ally's the airhead, and Elody likes boys - A lot!

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her?

 

No way, she's the one making the drama!

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

 

That as she grew up, she left one of her closest friends behind, not a good thing to do.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?

 

Not really, it seems like all her friendships are rather superficial. 

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amt19
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Registered: ‎08-10-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress? Sam is a normal teenage girl. She is trying to fit in with the IT crowd.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

On the surface she does but inside she is just the typical person who follows and doesn't lead.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect? Yes,as with everyone they are not perfect.

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her? No!

 

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? That at one time she wasn't the "popular IT girl" she pretends to be now.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again? Probably not. Even Kent at this point would wondr what was up.